Boyle Interviewed by Brooklyn Courthouse News Service

Professor Robin Boyle was interviewed by Brooklyn Courthouse News Service about the federal case against leader of sex cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere. The article titled, “Trial of NXIVM Leader to Put Spotlight on Cult Prosecutions,” predicts that the trial will be the “biggest cult case in decades.”


The article pointed out that Professor Boyle, in a 2016 article for the Oregon Review of International Law, had called upon authorities to prosecute cult leaders by using the federal human trafficking statutes–precisely what the Eastern District is doing in the NXIVM case.

The Courthouse News Service quoted Professor Boyle’s observation that the human trafficking statutes are useful in this kind of litigation “because they don’t rely on the mental state of the victim.” When asked what the defense would likely argue, Professor Boyle predicted that Raniere “could claim that some of the alleged crimes were simply sex games between consenting adults – ‘Kinky, yes. Not illegal.’”

The trial kicked off today with the prosecution’s opening argument. The defense has put forth the argument that the relationships were consensual.

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